Plugin Copyright ownership


(Tony) #1

Hi,

I became the new owner of the sonar clover plugin repository, and I want to find the better way to deal with copyrights and licenses updates.

The repo came with a generic copyright section (copyrights ${owner}) and the GNU gpl licence. Is it ok if I become the owner of the copyright and change the licence to use the MIT one ? Or is there some restrictions that I have to know ?

Regards


(Julien Henry) #2

Hi,

AFAIK GPL doesn’t allow to relicense derived work. Anyway relicensing requires the consent of all copyright holders.

You would have to initiate a major rewrite of the plugin, so that you can choose the license of the new code.


(Tony) #4

Sonarsource left this repository with an outdated copyright, and I try to understand who is now holder of this copyright. As I’m now owner of this repository, did I became the new copyright owner too ?

I’ve to release a new version in order to grant support for the new SonarQube API and bring support to SonarQube 7. Are this kind of modification as big as expected to allows the licence change ?


(Julien Henry) #5

I’m not a lawyer, but I followed a few similar discussions in various opensource projects, so I can try to answer, but be aware that I’m not sure I’m right :slight_smile:

Sonarsource left this repository with an outdated copyright, and I try to understand who is now holder of this copyright.

You only have intellectual property of the code you write. The copyright will expire after a very long time, or it can be transferred (like when you sign a CLA).

As I’m now owner of this repository, did I became the new copyright owner too ?

I don’t think that’s enough. You would be better covered by asking explicitly to get copyright transfer. I will ping our legal team on this.

Are this kind of modification as big as expected to allows the licence change

You can change the license if you are the copyright owner. You are by default the copyright owner of the code you write (or the ownership can be transferred).
In theory no modifications are big enough to make you the only author of the code. You would be co-author, and still have to ask permission to all authors to relicense. Or you have to write entire new code.
In practice, if changes are big enough, I think the frontier between modified and new code is blurry enough to allow claiming the ownership, but that certainly the play field of some lawyers.


(Julien Henry) #6

I just noticed that the current license is not GPL but LGPL, so very close to MIT. Can’t you keep the existing license? And add yourself as a owner (copyrights SonarSource and xxx)